This paper is based on a case study of the city of Girona in Catalonia, Spain, and analyses the vulnerability of commercial establishments to floods caused by the Onyar River. A mapping and statistical approach (cluster analysis) was applied to the information obtained from 568 questionnaires answered by the shops and the workshops located in the flood risk area. The results obtained allowed the authors to determine five different flood vulnerability profiles of the commercial establishments analysed. These profiles paint a picture of little individual adaptation to the risk and the possibility of suffering, sooner or later, large economic losses due to overflowing of the Onyar River. The authors established a methodology for carrying out a detailed multidimensional analysis of the flood vulnerability of the city's commercial establishments in order to provide the foundations for local government policies and for strategies for shop owners to reduce flood vulnerability.
© 2012 The Author(s). Journal compilation © Overseas Development Institute, 2012.